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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Always * Offline
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"Bullies" at work - April 30th 2016, 04:05 PM

Ok don't get me wrong, I am not "normal"; I'm quirky, chatty, and can possibly come across as spacey, but I'm overall friendly and work hard and all that.

But like for whatever reason, I feel like people at work are pretty much bullying me (I don't know what else to call it - it's just general negative behaviour directed at me), like in catty/ exclusionary way. I caught one of the managers was making faces at me behind my back, this one girl is always really rude to me, and a third person is always super rude too. It's to the point that I avoid these people at all costs and am afraid to be in situations where they'll see me doing anything because they'll be mean. I've even had multiple customers comment on the one girls negative behaviour.

I don't know if it is "bullying" or not, but it's definitely really negative.

This fourth lady has started sounding really annoyed whenever I address her just because I'm letting her know I have to leave our department for another department for other duties or I'm asking a question or whatever.

I've been spending days wondering what I am doing wrong and wondering why people treat me like this when I see them being decent, nice, friendly and/or respectful to other people. It confuses me when they're nice one minute and being horrible the next. Even if they find me super annoying, being rude/mean to me (even if it is behind my back) isn't making them the better person, it just makes them an asshole. To me, even if I come across as a little socially awkward / clueless, that's just innocent personality stuff, them being rude / mean actually hurts so, so I'd like to beg to question who's really the fuck up in this situation, but nonetheless...

I'm also at the point where I really want to move up in the world, especially because I've come to realize that this kind of negative behaviour is inflated in retail positions; at least in a corporate, non-profit or public service position, I would have the power to go to someone and say "I am being treated like this, I just want you to be aware, please advise me on how to deal with it, if it continues, I may need to ask you to take some kind of action". I'm starting to question if something is wrong with my behaviour that will be a problem in future jobs BUT anyone who knows me seems to like me; like tons of people think that I am a decent person.

Yes, super talkative but also kind of quirky in an amusing way, obviously really smart, and obviously nice and thoughtful. I've noticed that there is a certain "type" of person who seems to take issue with my personality, I have no idea why; probably because I am not a quiet person? I have no idea. In any case, just thought I'd see how y'all deal with assholes when you have no power to stop them.

Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat or have questions

Last edited by Always *; April 30th 2016 at 05:04 PM.
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Re: "Bullies" at work - May 2nd 2016, 01:22 PM

I've not been in that situation, so probably can't really advise on how to deal with that (aside from saying it's a good idea to keep on avoiding them). But I wanted to say that it's not your fault, for the way these people are behaving towards you. And yes, I would call catching the manager making faces at you behind your back bullying- it's childish, unprofessional and totally uncalled for.

Unfortunately, some people will find it difficult to get on with you for whatever reasons they have (even the possibility of a personality clash is one way of looking at it), but it doesn't mean they should result to bullying you. They are at fault here, not you.

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Re: "Bullies" at work - May 2nd 2016, 02:07 PM

This has happened to me a lot in school, less so in college. I am like very quiet usually so that's different than being outspoken but it still hurts either way and I'm sorry you're going through that.

I think the main thing is that some people value a certain narrow kind of personality type rather than embracing the fact that each person is unique, and has something to offer. It is inappropriate and unprofessional for a workplace.
I don't have advice but I just wanted to give you my moral support on getting through this situation. The thing to keep in mind is that it isn't you, it's them. They're being immature. One day when you are able to, you'll move on and be around nicer people. You won't stay at this job forever, and you can also increase the positive supportive people outside your workplace. there are people who will appreciate you and enjoy having you around. There are people you will value you and not treat you in such a way that they do. Their attitude towards you is just something to work through for the time being, until you can find better.whether you decide to ignore it or inform a higher up is up to you. I know it can be hard to ignore but at the same time higher ups are not always helpful in bullying situations because they may have a "blind spot" or they do believe you but take too much of a "militant" style action. Whatever you decide, try to focus on the tasks at hand and the things that lift you up to help keep you going. The little things that can be appreciated. Your sense of humor, even if it just in your head. In high school when classmates were making fun of me or behaving in similar upsetting ways, I would imagine that they are each a different animal performing at a circus. I don't know how or ehy I thought of that but it made the situation a tiny bit bearable. I never told them directly that I was picturing their faces as monkeys and whatnot. It was just an insider joke between me and myself. I drew cartoonish pictures of the professors who bothered me with their condescending attitude towards the class. These little things helped.

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Re: "Bullies" at work - May 2nd 2016, 11:52 PM

Thanks guys I appreciate your input

And yeah, Suesie, like you, I got bullied in high school (and elementary too..). Not the best. I kind of expected better from grown ass adults, only to become a grown ass adult and realize that some people will still behave like we're a bunch of catty 12/13 year old girls. It's totally unnecessary. I'd say like 99% of the time, I don't care; people will be dicks, right? But it still sucks. I've overall developed a thicker skin and definitely tend to feel anger (instead of sadness) when things get ridiculous nowadays, which is probably better in some ways.

Holly, thanks for agreeing that you think it sounds like bullying, especially the manager. I just wish I was in a different company where I had the power to even think about dealing with such issues; here I just have to basically let it go, it sucks. Kind of makes me wish I was the sort of quiet person people didn't notice, but I'm fairly outgoing.

Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat or have questions
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Re: "Bullies" at work - May 3rd 2016, 03:30 AM

Well if its a decent size company with supervisors that are over your managers id suggest getting them involved. And tell the supervisor how even customers see how negative towards you. trust me once a supervisor finds out its being noticed by customers they will bring the hammer down on them for potentially loosing business for them. i.e. those three people can get written up, suspended, or possibly fired.
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Re: "Bullies" at work - May 3rd 2016, 07:34 PM

Obviously it's hard for me to judge your situation from an armchair, or judge your personality too.

One thing I know is that in some cases, people who may look "quirky", talkative, friendly, etc... such people can come across as somehow emotionally "vulnerable" to others. Let's call these "others" predators. It is something I find hard to describe in short.

These are people with mental issues, although if they hold an influential position in your environment... they can very effectively infect other people with their corrupt thought patterns. Role models. It doesn't necessarily mean they have to be the "manager" to do this. It could be that, or it could be social influence instead of authoritarian influence. Like I said, hard for me to tell from an armchair.

How do I put this? They're not necessarily "bad" people. There are certainly much worse out there. I think of them as too stupid to be "bad". They're often not self-aware enough to even realise what they're doing. They just do it because that's how they were raised in some dysfunctional environment, and they know no different. Personally I find such people fking annoying, because they don't allow me to be a decent person when I'm around them. I don't enjoy being intimidating (which makes it difficult for me to be good at it unless someone genuinely pissed me off somehow), and it doesn't always work either, but I rarely find better ways of dealing with these kinds... because they seem to pick up most kind gestures as "weaknesses". You pick up their stuff from the printer on your way back from the kitchen, or get them a glass of water once, and in their mind it somehow sets a precedent that I'm their fking butler. Like I said: stupid.

I don't mean to be demeaning to any generic group, but this kind of stuff from my experience is much more commonplace among people from low-income backgrounds. So "moving up in the world" (as you put it), usually means you have to deal with less of this kind of shit, or at least it is more subtle because such people are more aware of potential repercussions of workplace bullying. You certainly deal with more open-minded/tolerant people, up to a point.

Theory goes that if you "move up in the world" far enough then you start dealing with far more toxic types more often. More toxic than the imbeciles you're talking about (I mean... pulling faces??? That's some kindergarden shit. And you say it's coming from the manager. Makes me want to facepalm). But I'm talking about director/CEO kind of jobs. Or politics.

My advice would be, don't be nice to people who don't deserve it. That doesn't necessarily mean that you should deliberately "offend" them, or provoke them, or any such things. Just do your job, nothing more, nothing less. No one has the right to complain then. Not everyone is worth your concern. Tread carefully at first, assess the situation, try to judge who it is worth being nice to, who will appreciate it, and who won't... and modify your behavior to suit that. In other words: adapt to your environment.

In retrospect, it's hard to re-establish boundaries between yourself and other people in a workplace where you've been working for some longer period time. It almost always ends up in a power struggle, and most of the time someone gets hurt. Then there are bad feelings, and the shit just drags on indefinitely.

Your best option is to "move up in the world". Or find a job somewhere else, and not make the same mistakes again. Larger companies certainly tend to value workplace culture more. Professionally trained managers know what effect it has on the morale of employees, and the effect that in turn has on their creativity and productivity.


"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.

Last edited by BDF; May 4th 2016 at 12:27 PM.
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Re: "Bullies" at work - May 7th 2016, 03:11 AM

You still have the power to get other people involved and advocate for yourself. No matter where you work their are things in place that should help workers.

If your manager was making a face at you that is really inappropriate and you should consider going to their supervisor about it.

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